Strategy for digitalisation and information management in healthcare and social welfare emphasises flexibility
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has published a strategy for digitalisation and information management in healthcare and social welfare.
The strategy aims to build digital services that help people independently maintain their wellbeing, health and ability to work. This will make it possible to reduce the need for more burdensome services. This, in turn, will reduce the workload of healthcare and social welfare professionals and enable them to meet customers in person more often.
In order to increase people’s independence, digital tools have to be easy to use, personalised and usable anywhere and at any time. Issues related to equality, such as bilingualism or multilingualism, comprehensibility, and accessibility, are key considerations in the development of digital services. Artificial intelligence and robotics will be used in this development work.
In order to encourage people to use digital services, they must also be given guidance. Support must continue to be provided to people who for whatever reason are unable or unwilling to use digital services. Health and social welfare professionals will also need training and guidance.
Legislation must enable sharing and transfer of data
The workload of healthcare and social welfare professionals can be reduced not only by developing existing systems and using new technology, but also by reforming legislation. Legislation must make it possible to share and transfer data, develop and use digital processes, and automate decision-making. At the same time, the roles of professionals must be clarified.
Effectiveness and foresight form a strong foundation for digital services
According to the strategy, digital services should be the primary choice in wellbeing services counties whenever appropriate or for those customers who are able to use digital services. Data on, for example, the wellbeing of the population and on the use, quality and effectiveness (including cost-effectiveness) of services is collected for the purposes of guidance of the wellbeing services counties.
Effectiveness data can be used to arrange healthcare and social welfare services in a flexible, high-quality and sustainable manner. Reliable, up-to-date and comparable data must be widely available to managers, decision-makers and researchers across administrative boundaries. Health and social welfare professionals and customers also need data for services and treatment. It must be easy to move data securely between different organisations and different healthcare and social welfare services. The Kanta services support the use of digital services throughout the country.
Monitoring the implementation of the strategy
The objectives of the strategy for digitalisation and information management in healthcare and social welfare will be implemented mainly through the digital healthcare and social welfare programme set out in the Government Programme and partly through other projects, such as the ongoing project to develop the Kanta services. This digitalisation programme will help wellbeing services counties improve the effectiveness of healthcare and social welfare services. The progress of the digitalisation programme will be assessed halfway through the government term, and a mid-term review will be carried out at the end of the government term to assess whether the objectives of the strategy are still relevant.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health invited nearly 6,000 people to participate in the preparation of the strategy in a number of events. These events were attended by experts, development directors, digitalisation and information management directors, researchers and system suppliers of the wellbeing services counties. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health also asked citizens to give their views on what kind of digital services they want in the future.